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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the category “General Manager”

DeVida Jenkins

DeVida JenkinsGeneral Manager
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

What’s your favorite line from a play?
“For, look you, there is humour in all things, and the truest philosophy is that which teaches us to find it and to make the most of it.”
– Jack Point, The Yeoman of the Guard by Gilbert & Sullivan

What is your favorite Movie?
WUTHERING HEIGHTS with Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier

What is your favorite show?
42nd Street

Any hobbies?
Fiber arts, especially needlepoint.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
I still dream of owning a farm!

I feel most like myself when I …
am watching an audience experience a production I am involved with.

What is your best escape?
the beach

Favorite cocktail
gin and tonic

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
How extremely shy I am.

DeVida Jenkins began her career as a lighting designer. As General Manager of the Merriam Theater (1997-2009), she created many educational programs, including Broadway on Broad and the Student Critics Program. DeVida is an aspiring farmer, who successfully farms one third of an acre in her spare time.

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Sheila Speller

Sheila Speller, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenProducer, General Manager
New York, New York USA

Where do I look for inspiration?
I find inspiration in all that surrounds me that I can integrate into my life. The collaborative process of creating theatre inspires me. My mission is to produce original works from new voices that speak to a multicultural America that are refreshing, thought-provoking, and entertaining. Stories that touch many and reflect our common human experience. Producers inspire me because the business and entrepreneurship of theatre drives me. Helming an Off-Broadway production providing jobs for over 70 theatre professionals in the midst of a down economy was especially rewarding.

What’s my favorite book, movie, cocktail …?
Favorite books, From Option to Opening by Donald C. Farber, Esq., The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter, and Oh, the Places You Will Go!, Dr. Seuss. Favorite escape movie, The Five Heartbeats. Favorite cocktail, Water!

What play/production changed your life?
Performed the Steam Heat dance number in a high school production of The Pajama Game. Two Gentlemen of Verona and Raisin on Broadway are two out of many! The Maids by Jean Genet, the first full-production play I produced in NYC two decades ago and portrayed the lead role of Claire.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Influence new audiences of theatre-goers and supporters, one production at a time.

I feel most like myself when I …
… am in motion.

What’s your best escape?
My Bikram yoga practice.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about me?
I still feel a thrill of excitement walking through the Times Square Broadway theatre district.

Sheila Speller is the president of Orielle Creative Company, a theatre business consulting company. Holds an MBA. Commercial Theatre Institute (’07). Member: Women in Arts & Media, Past-Board Member (VP, Communications), League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film & Television, The Broadway League – Adjunct.

Sue Bartelt

Sue Bartelt, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenFinance, production and general management
New York, New York USA

I was very lucky growing up. My parents are both professors and there was a summer stock at the college they taught at, so, from a very young age, I got to see three musicals and one children’s show every summer. And a good children’s show, at that. After one show, when I was about 9, I turned to my mom and asked her if they ever used kids in the shows. And her response was, “I don’t know. You should call them and ask.” She sat down with me and we planned out what I would say on the phone (she refused to be a stage mom and it helped that she knew that the guy who ran the program would be kind to me) and I called and left him a message. It turned out they were going to do South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music the next season. I later found out he was terrified of working with kids, but knew I was nice and would behave and listen to direction, so he cast me in South Pacific and The Sound of Music, the two productions he would be directing. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to do theatre. I loved everything about it, but was fascinated and downright entranced by what was happening backstage, which eventually led me to abandon performing for what I thought was the “interesting stuff”. That same summer stock changed my life, yet again, a few years later. I had pretty much only been exposed to “classic” musicals up to that point, but that summer they did Pippin. I didn’t know shows like that existed and the idea of a musical like that completely blew my mind. My brain raced with the possibilities of all of the interesting theatre that was out there for me to experience.

Sue Bartelt. Currently the Assistant Director of Finance for Frankel Green Theatrical Management, Sue has worked in many different capacities over her career.  Starting as a stagehand in a road house, she eventually moved into the management side of theatre and, after going back to school for her degree in accounting, into Finance.

Julie Carpenter Sylvester

Julie Carpenter Sylvester, member of League of Professional Theatre WomenPerformer/General Manager
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I look for inspiration in other peoples’ successes; a great play, a fabulous performance or a fun event.

I am competitive with myself – and sometimes, others – always striving to do the right thing while trying to figure out what the right thing is. Being a member of the League inspires me to reach out to the entire community of women in theatre and ask them to join us in advocating for and supporting one another.

Julie Carpenter Sylvester began acting at five in a local children’s theatre in Indiana. Her company, Julie & Friends, produces private and corporate events including exhibits and conferences for the International CES in Las Vegas. She is on the Board of the League & co-chairs the 30th Anniversary Celebration.

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